Cappello Provides $1 Million to Lift Trial Advocacy Program

20170830 Cappello In Courtroom

UCLA Law alumnus A. Barry Cappello '65 has donated an additional $1 million to transform the school's trial advocacy program, providing scholarship support and extensive training opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers as trial attorneys.

Bolstering his longstanding commitment to UCLA Law, Cappello's donation will create the A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy, a signature curricular program that will develop innovative advanced course offerings for future trial advocates at UCLA Law; and will enhance scholarship funds for high-achieving students with the passion, talent and drive to be become trial attorneys, as demonstrated through their success in and commitment to mock trial competitions and other relevant experiences. 

The gift, which builds on Cappello's 2006 donation of $1.25 million to the law school, will also permit the inauguration of the Cappello Certificate in Trial Advocacy. To receive a Cappello certificate, students must complete significant coursework in the area and participate successfully in multiple mock trial competitions, including at least two competitions external to the school.

The scholarship portion of Cappello's gift qualifies for $125,000 in additional funding from the Chancellor's Centennial Scholarship Match, extending the impact of the gift.

"Trial skills are vital for students who want to hit the ground running when they graduate, and UCLA Law has the faculty and resources to offer one of the best programs in this area of law," Cappello said. "I am delighted to provide funding that will fortify UCLA Law's trial advocacy program. UCLA Law is where it all started for me, and I feel it is essential to give back in order to help others succeed."

Cappello, who earned his undergraduate and law degrees at UCLA, has handled hundreds of jury trials and has earned in excess of $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for his clients. The managing partner of Cappello & Noël LLP, founded in 1977 in Santa Barbara, California, Cappello has litigated major cases in the areas of mass torts, environmental class actions, discriminatory banking practices, and intellectual property. Cappello is the author of Lender Liability, now in its fifth edition. He previously served as Santa Barbara City Attorney, assistant district attorney in the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's office and deputy attorney general for the State of California. He is a member of the UCLA Law Board of Advisors.

Thanks to Cappello's earlier generosity, UCLA Law opened the A. Barry Cappello Courtroom in 2009. The courtroom has hosted proceedings of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Federal Circuit, lectures by distinguished visiting scholars, and numerous mock trials and moot court proceedings. It is also home to the Cappello Courtroom Series: The Art of the Trial, a twice-annual lecture in which Cappello is joined by top trial and appellate attorneys.

"Barry Cappello's gift deepens his extraordinary commitment to UCLA Law and to ensuring that our students gain absolutely critical, fundamental skills that will prepare them for practice," said UCLA Law Dean Jennifer L. Mnookin. "We are fortunate to count Barry as a partner. I am tremendously grateful for his generosity, and for his willingness to invest in building our students' skills and success. Generations of students will benefit from his philanthropy."

Cappello’s gift is part of the $4.2 billion Centennial Campaign for UCLA, which is scheduled to conclude in December 2019 during UCLA’s 100th anniversary year.